Impacts of Bill 23 on Municipal and Regional Budgets and Property Taxes

Impacts of Bill 23 on Municipal and Regional Budgets and Property Taxes

MIRANET (Mississauga Residents’ Association Network) has been closely following discussions and proposals at the Province with regards to the Conservation Authorities Act and the More Homes Built Faster Act since their inception. We have been vocal advocates for the people of Mississauga and the Region of Peel, pushing back against short-sighted and harmful policies proposed by the Ford Government. The passing of Bill 23 will have far-reaching impacts on Southern Ontario that will affect both present and future generations. Implementation of this bill will do nothing to achieve the objective of more housing stock, nor will it address the affordability issue; it will instead lead to irreversible harms to the environment and the people that it sustains and supports. The Greenbelt provides essential services whose economic value outweighs any perceived benefits from paving it over:

  • Agricultural lands to provide sustainable and reliable food sources. The impacts of fire, drought, flooding and disease on traditional suppliers in California, Florida, and western Canada call into question their long-term viability as large-scale centres of food production
  • Environmental services provided by the Greenbelt include marshes that act as carbon sinks, filter water to remove contaminants, provide downstream flood protection, and are home to critically threatened species
  • Greenspace and parkland where people can experience nature and reap the health benefits of being in the natural environment

The proposed legislation under Bill 23 will likely fail to meet the majority of its objectives:

  • Labour economists have questioned the goal of building 1.5 million homes in ten years; with the current labour shortage this goal is not realistic. They have also pointed out that there are many parcels of Municipal and Provincial land within the GTA that are sitting undeveloped. Why have these not been inventoried and earmarked for housing development? Better yet why have they not been earmarked for subsidized housing and purpose-built rental housing?
  • Many Ontario Mayors have voiced their objections to developers sitting on large tracts of land which have been slated for development with all necessary permits in place. Years after Municipal and Regional staff have reviewed development proposals, done their due diligence, and issued permits, these developers have yet to put shovels in the ground. Why does the government not require these developers to proceed within a specific time frame after receiving permits, particularly due to the demands of the More Homes Built Faster Act? What is preventing the Province from enacting legislation to require developers, with lands already slated for development and permits in hand, to proceed with their projects immediately? Would this not be a more-cost effective and rational approach to the housing shortage, while also protecting the Greenbelt?
  • Green building standards no longer need to be met. These homes will therefore not be adapted to the new climate, making them more expensive to run than their green counterparts. Only high-income earners will be able to afford them
  • The bill does not provide information on who will resource these new developments. Will residents be required to commute to established communities for groceries, healthcare, and entertainment?
  • Young people, immigrants, seniors, and the working poor will not be able to afford these new homes because prices have continued to increase while wages and salaries have remained stagnant, leading to a shift towards the rental market; inflationary factors have led to increased mortgage rates and overall increases in long-term mortgage carrying costs. The cost of rental housing is at an all-time high, therefore many young people and immigrants, despite having full-time jobs, are not able to build equity through property ownership or financial savings and investments
  • Limiting the ability of the Conservation Authorities to conduct risk assessments and make deputations is highly problematic. The Greenbelt was meant to protect downstream communities from extreme flooding events. We are currently experiencing more frequent and more intense rainfall events; the increasing amount of rainfall will lead to an increase in the geographic footprint of existing floodplains. Overland flood insurance is not provided by home insurance policies; in pursuing their plan of building homes on the Greenbelt, the Ford government threatens to put existing housing stock at risk, increasing the probability of devasting floods which could leave many Ontarians homeless and bankrupt
  • There is enough available land within municipal boundaries to address the housing shortage. This land comes with preexisting infrastructure and resources; it would therefore be substantially cheaper to develop. The current plan to build on the Greenbelt is more expensive and destructive; from a business perspective this is the worst possible option and the most financially reckless

Critics of the bill have stated that there is little evidence to demonstrate that the homes built under this plan will be more affordable. What has also become evident is that this bill is making existing housing stock far less affordable as costs previously paid by developers will now be paid by homeowners and renters. Taxpayers are essentially subsidizing the developers’ business model while reaping none of the financial benefits and all of the potential harms with no avenues of protest or redress.

Bill 23 proposes numerous changes to the Development Charges Act and the Planning Act which will significantly impact how municipal governments recover costs associated with growth. The City of Mississauga first presented their 2023 budget proposal in June 2022. The increase in municipal and regional levies in this budget were meant to address shortfalls due to Covid-19. Revenue losses due to people remaining at home during lockdown, increased expenditures for Covid supports, supply chain issues and inflationary pressures were all accounted for.  The passing of Bill 23 required a reassessment of the budget and residential property taxes. While it is uncertain how Bill 23 will impact two-tier municipalities, MIRANET used the most current data to calculate potential increases to residential property taxes.

At their recent Budget Committee meetings, the City of Mississauga approved a 3.0% budget increase for 2023 (on February 1, 2023) and the Region of Peel approved a 2.8% budget increase (February 2, 2023). These increases do not reflect the potential impacts of Bill 23 on Municipal and Regional budgets. Further analysis is required and is being carried out against the backdrop of Municipal audits to be conducted by the Province. In Mississauga and the Region of Peel, there is the added risk/unknown posed by the threat of either amalgamation (favoured by Patrick Brown) or secession (favoured by Bonnie Crombie). The Premier has stated that he will sit down with the Mayors to decide on the best approach. The only role for the electorate in this process is to foot the bill for the political aspirations of our leaders.

The benefits of secession versus amalgamation have long been debated by economists. The promises of the reduction in duplication of services and greater economies of scale are not borne out by the data. The same holds true for secession, or de-amalgamation, where the division of assets and debts can be divisive and usually ends in litigation; furthermore, the results don’t always deliver more simplified governance structures.

The residents of the Region of Peel have been here once before; when the Ford government came to power in 2018 they had plans to reimagine health care delivery in the Province, simplify the process of providing supports to families of children with autism, and find efficiencies in municipal operating budgets through amalgamation. The Province failed to provide any convincing arguments (based on good quality data and thoughtful analysis from subject matter experts as opposed to vague invocations of cost savings based on the most tenuous of grasps on reality) and public feedback was resoundingly in favour of the status quo.

According to the 2021 Census Data released by Statistics Canada, the population of the Region of Peel now stands at 1,450,000 million people. Our leaders are planning profound long-term changes to our governance structures without any real public input. Given the challenges of health care reform, inflationary pressures on the economy, increasing inequality, and municipal budget shortfalls, the Province has more than enough on its plate to deal with. The only people who should decide on changes to the governance structure are the 1.45 million people who call the region home.

Should the Province decide to ride roughshod over the democratic rights of residents and proceed with either amalgamation or secession, the potential financial and legal risks are unknown. We have no clear assessment of what the costs to the taxpayer may be.

In order to offset the impacts of Bill 23, the Province has stated that it will make Municipalities “whole” through financial compensation for the loss of development charges, but as yet, no binding agreements are in place. We have therefore provided an analysis of the hypothetical property tax impacts in the event that the Province does not address the funding gap. Table 1 summarizes the tax scenarios in the 2023 City of Mississauga and Region of Peel budgets proposed in June 2022. Table 2 summarizes the approved 2023 City of Mississauga and Region of Peel budgets, as well as hypothetical tax increases in the event of a funding shortfall.

Table 1: 2022 Proposals for City of Mississauga and Region of Peel Budgets

Table 2: 2023 Approved Budgets for City of Mississauga and Region of Peel including Potential Impacts from Bill 23

The education levy is determined by the Provincial government and this rate is projected to remain unchanged. It is also worth noting that the Region has increased the Average Utility Rate by 7.9% impacting both business and residents (further details may be found at

Table 3 contains a summary of the tax levies for 2022, for 2023 (recently approved and excluding Bill 23 impacts, these numbers are hypothetical until the City and Region announce their official levies), and for 2023 including estimated potential impacts of Bill 23.

Table 3: MIRANET Calculation of Revised Municipal and Regional Tax Levies

Table 4 contains a summary of property taxes for 2022, 2023 (approved year-over-year increase, to be confirmed by the City and the Region), and 2023 (including estimates of potential Bill 23 impacts).

Table 4: Calculation of Various Property Tax Scenarios

Anyone wishing to calculate their property taxes for any of these scenarios can do so with the following formulae:

Total property taxes (TotP)

TotP =MPAC Assessed Home Value × (Total Levy ÷100)

  • Average property tax by installment (AvgP)

AvgP =TotP ÷6

Any approved changes to the property tax rate will not be reflected in the first three installments of 2023; instead, these first three payments will reflect the 2022 rates and the difference will be averaged over the final three payments of 2023. As an example, an individual whose home has been assessed at $730,000 will pay three installments of $1,009.51 each in the spring of 2023 and the remaining installments will be $1,152.96 each. While the installments collected by the City are not exact averages of the total amount owing, these numbers are very useful for personal finance and budget calculations.

The total amount of property taxes in each of these scenarios is illustrated in Figure 1 and the dollar value increase in property taxes with and without the impact of Bill 23 is illustrated in Figure 2.

Figure 1: Property Tax Increases for 2023 prior to Bill 23 and for 2023 with Bill 23

Figure 2: Property Taxes for 2022, 2023, and 2023 with Bill 23

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Free seniors bus trip to Niagara Falls!

MIRANET wants you to beat the winter blahs! 

Join other young-at-heart seniors on this Niagara Falls outing on February 27.

Bring along your buddies. Check out the attached flyer and sign up at this Eventbrite link:

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JOB POSTING Federal By-Election for Mississauga-Lakeshore

Federal By-Election for Mississauga-Lakeshore


Interested in helping with the upcoming Federal By-Election? We need strong, capable people to help with the end of the day return of materials from the different polling locations. Here are the details:

Date: Monday December 12, 2022

Time: 9 pm – 12 midnight

Address: Mississauga-Lakeshore Returning Office
203-2155 Leanne Blvd
Mississauga, ON L5K 2K8

Position: Election Night General Help (Support Officer)

Hourly Pay: $15.86 per hour minimum of 3 hours

Job Requirements:
Able to lift up to 30 lbs.
Able to bend and lift items out of vehicles.
Moving materials and equipment being returned to designated spots.
Able to manage a fast paced environment in both indoor and outdoor conditions.
Minimum 14 years of age on December 12, 2022.
Be legally allowed to work in Canada.


Please call at 416-514-6026
Send an email to the Assistant Returning Officer at

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South West Mississauga Residents’ Association by-election debate on Nov. 30

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South West Mississauga Ratepayers’ Associations (SWMRA) virtual candidates meeting

The South West Mississauga Ratepayers’ Associations (SWMRA) are hosting a virtual candidates meeting on Tuesday May 31st, 2022 at 7:30pm. Join to hear what candidates have to say.

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Housing affordability and what it means to you

In recent years, growth in the GTA has caused many problems. It is destroying some neighborhoods and building uncomfortably dense centers creating traffic gridlock and unlivable communities with few, if any, public amenities. Canada is also in the grip of a housing affordability crisis that has seen house prices triple in the past 10 years.

A Housing Affordability Task Force was formed by the Ontario government to generate ideas to address the housing crisis.  It is interesting to note the task force was made up of primarily developers, financial intuitions and governmental agencies.  Missing from the table are the most affected stakeholders such as non-profits, concerned citizen groups and the general public.

In March, the Mississauga Residents Association Network (MIRANET) along with more than 50 residents’ associations, non- partisan, and non-profit groups from across the GTA joined together to form A Better GTA (  A Better GTA was formed to collectively raise concerns of residents across the GTA who believe that there exists a lack of a sensible growth and vision, along with overdevelopment of our communities.

A Better GTA, including MIRANET, wrote to Premier Doug Ford on March 1st to outline the need for full transparency requested a deferral of any implementation of the findings of the task force report, until residents and the private sector had an equal opportunity to address their concerns and offer alternative solutions.

The current housing task force report is built on a false premise and its recommendations would not solve the problem. Instead, the recommendations would result in weakening the power of municipalities and citizens to help determine the nature of the communities that they live in.

The City of Mississauga is very concerned about the recommendations made by the Affordability Task Force. On March 10th the City of Mississauga issued their review of the Affordability Task Force report card which outlined the City’s position on each recommendation.  See link

From the 62 task force recommendations that the city reviewed, they were opposed to 29, in support of 19 and neutral to 14.

The solutions to the GTA’s issues with housing, transportation, climate management, and more are not out of our reach. We can build a great city that provides for all of this and addresses our affordability problems. However, first, we ask that your government defer any further action on implementing any legislation which would enact the current TOC policies or the Task Force report. This concern is clearly echoed by many municipal councils and Mayoral associations throughout the GTA. There is no rush. Give residents the opportunity to make our case.

A comprehensive, win-win and durable solution must involve ALL stakeholders.  It is not too late to get community buy-in to solve the affordability crises.  A Summit is critical to bring all affected stakeholders to the table and come up with reasonable solutions that work for all.  This issue concerns us all.  Get your voices heard and reach out to your MPP.

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MIRANET Budget Workshop on 23 Feb.

What does the City’s budget mean to you?

How is the annual budget compiled and approved?

How would you improve and City’s online Budget Allocator?

How does the annual budget increase impact property taxes?

What is the role of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC)?

Get all your questions answered at MIRANET’s FREE virtual workshop on Wednesday, February 23 at 7pm.

Guest Speaker: Jeffrey Jackson, City Treasurer


The workshop will be divided into three sessions with a 10-minute question and discussion period for each section.

This is an educational workshop. Please bring your questions and consider how the City’s budget process might be improved.

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MIRANET Statement to Council on workplace harassment

MIRANET is greatly concerned about recent statements in the news by former Councilor Karen Ras concerning workplace harassment. Various news outlets have reported disturbing alleged behaviour by a City Councilor that resulted in a police investigation. No criminal charges were filed, and the incident was buried. MIRANET believes the Mayor, Councilors and the Integrity Commissioner should and must be held accountable to the constituents they represent and all the residents of Mississauga.

Why was the workplace harassment not investigated by the Integrity Commissioner and the Mayor in April of last year? A toxic work environment is detrimental to elected officials, City staff, and the public they are meant to serve. It seems that the complaints process of the City of Mississauga is broken. Where was City leadership?

What is the point of having a Municipal Code of Conduct, as well as a Governance Committee, if procedures are not applied and the committee is not consulted? Governing around a myriad of different voices and opinions is a challenge at best, but civility is the least that the public should expect from their elected officials. Mississauga citizens deserve answers, apologies, positive change and above all transparency.

MIRANET will be watching closely as this story unfolds.

Mississauga Residents’ Association Network

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MIRANET reviews year ahead of its AGM

Peel Weekly News carried an article by MIRANET Council, taking stock of the past year. MIRANET will hold its Annual General Meeting on 2 June. The article is below.

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Budget Committee Needs Improving

Chris Mackie, member of MIRANET’s Municipal Finance Committee reflects on the actions of the City of Mississauga’s Budget Committee.

What’s wrong with the City’s Budget Committee?  It’s not working effectively.

Councilors listen to staff presentations and occasionally ask questions.  Most Councilors appear poorly prepared.  Some clearly have not studied the material included on the agenda.  About three regularly raise issues and question staff.

The committee’s poor performance worsens when reports containing big ticket items are adopted without debate.  This occurred last week when $65 million was added to the Mississauga Fire & Emergency Services (MFES) ten-year capital budget without discussing the report.  Written questions submitted by MIRANET did not appear to have been considered by committee members. The MFES report was adopted without discussion.

What is wrong with this scenario? By not discussing this and other reports Budget Committee is allowing senior staff to make decisions for it. That’s not good enough.  It’s unfair to taxpayers.  It’s not good governance. Councilors are elected to make these decisions, not staff.  Budget Committee should review all staff recommendations that impact the budget and property taxes.  Budget Committee should be the gatekeeper of the City’s finances. It is not.  Finance staff are.

Council has a fiduciary responsibility for the well being of the City.  Several Councilors ignore their responsibility and only take an interest in issues that affect their ward.

This is not good enough for Canada’s sixth largest City.  The Committee needs to improve its performance.

Here’s a suggestion.  Holding Budget Committee immediately following a four-hour General Committee is not a great idea.  Brains are tired.  Improve the committee’s scheduling.  Budget Committee is too important to be treated as an appendix to General Committee.

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All Peel residents 18+ can book COVID-19 vaccine appointments beginning May 6

As of Thursday, May 6, at 8 a.m., all 11 mass vaccine clinics in Peel Region will accept bookings for individuals who live in Peel and are 18 years of age and older at the time of vaccination.

This expansion opens eligibility for 50,000 residents who do not live in hotspots and have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated and makes all Peel residents who are 18 years or older, eligible for vaccination.

As one of the hardest hit communities in the province, this announcement extends the vital protection provided by vaccination to all adult Peel residents.

How to Book

NEW: Residents 18-49 – non-hotspot

Residents of Peel who are aged 18-49 but do not live in a provincially-identified hotspot postal code must book an appointment online using the Region of Peel’s booking system. If you need help booking, call the Region of Peel COVID-19 Vaccination Line at 905-791-5202, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week.

The postal codes for this booking system are as follows:

  • L4V, L4Y
  • L5E, L5G, L5H, L5J
  • L7E, L7K

Residents 18+ – hotspot

As announced on Monday by the province, Peel residents 18+ and that live in provincially-identified hotspot postal codes should continue to use Ontario’s vaccine booking system or call the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007).

The provincial hotspot postal codes are as follows:

  • L4T, L4W, L4X, L4Z
  • L5A, L5B, L5C, L5K, L5L, L5M, L5N, L5R, L5V, L5W
  • L6P, L6R, L6S, L6T, L6V, L6W, L6X, L6Y, L6Z
  • L7A, L7C

All residents 50+

All residents who are 50+ can use Ontario’s booking system, regardless of postal code.

Given the interest and demand to book appointments at our clinics, residents are encouraged to book as soon as possible. We ask for patience in booking as given the scale of this effort, there may be wait times to access the website or call centres. Appointments may only be available on a timeline beyond the next few days as we work to provide this protection to all of our residents. In almost all cases, the fastest way to book an appointment is online, which provides real-time availability. Appointments for all Peel postal codes can also be booked at hospital run clinics in Peel.

Adults 65 years or older and people of any age who have transportation barriers can use TransHelp, free of charge, to get to their vaccine appointment. You don’t need to be a TransHelp client to use this service. Call 905-791-1015 at least 48 hours before your appointment to make your booking.

Homebound residents who live in Peel and cannot physically leave their home to receive the vaccine due to medical, social, or other cognitive reasons can complete this form and they will be contacted to book an in-home appointment.

Visit for regular updates on priority groups and clinic locations and follow @regionofpeel on social media for news on COVID-19 and vaccine availability.

Region of Peel

The Region of Peel works with residents and partners to create a healthy, safe and connected Community for Life for approximately 1.5 million people and over 175,000 businesses in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon. Peel’s services touch the lives of residents every day. For more information about the Region of Peel, explore and follow us on Twitter @regionofpeel and Instagram

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Peel residents 50 and over within select postal codes can book COVID-19 vaccine appointments beginning April 9

As of Friday, April 9 at 8:00 a.m., all vaccine clinics in Peel Region will be accepting bookings for individuals 50 years or older within select postal codes to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

The select communities include:

  • L4T, L4W, L4X, L4Z 
  • L5A, L5B, L5C, L5K, L5L, L5M, L5N, L5R, L5V, L5W 
  • L6P, L6R, L6S, L6T, L6V, L6W, L6X, L6Y, L6Z 
  • L7A, L7C 

This eligibility expansion also marks our progression into phase 2 of the vaccine roll-out, offering vaccines to more residents and made available in more accessible ways. All vaccine clinics in Peel region will be taking bookings for the following groups who wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccine:

Book an appointment online. The fastest way to book is online. Residents without internet access who need assistance booking can call 905-791-5202.

Information on how to prepare for an appointment and what to expect at a clinic is available at This is a one-stop spot for Peel residents to book an appointment to get vaccinated at the clinic of their choice when it’s their turn.

Adults 65 years or older and people of any age who have transportation barriers can use TransHelp, free of charge, to get to their vaccine appointment.

You don’t need to be a TransHelp client to use this service. Call 905-791-1015 at least 48 hours before your appointment to make your booking.

Visit for regular updates on priority groups and clinic locations and follow @regionofpeel on social media for news on COVID-19 and vaccine availability.

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Vaccination Update – 65 years and older

The following is an update from the City of Mississauga.

Effective today, Peel residents aged 65 years and older are eligible to book vaccine appointments at hospital vaccination clinics in Peel.  When the provincial booking system is ready, Public Health Vaccination Clinics will also accept this group for vaccination.  Public Health Clinics will continue to focus on vaccinating eligible groups, including residents aged 70 years and older.  

Access to booking systems for both Public Health Vaccination Clinics and hospital clinics is available on the Region of Peel website. The Region of Peel Vaccine Line can also assist residents who have questions or challenges related to getting vaccinated – Region of Peel COVID-19 Vaccination Line at 905-791-5202 (open 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., 7 days a week).  Seniors who have challenges getting to and from the vaccine clinic can use TransHelp. Call 905-791-1015 at least 48 hours before your appointment to make your booking. You don’t need to be a TransHelp client to use this service.

Please see here for the Peel media release:

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UPDATED: Mass vaccination plan update from the Region of Peel

UPDATE: For those who don’t have a computer, please call the Mississauga Covid-19 Vaccination hotline: 905 848 7476

Please see here for an updated media release from the Region of Peel for 80+ population: Update on who can get the vaccine and how to register in Peel – Region of Peel.

The details are as follows:

Vaccine supply is improving and Peel’s hospital partners are able to open a limited number of spots in their clinics for vaccination of adults over the age of 80. Residents of Peel that meet this age criteria, based on year of birth (i.e. born 1941 or earlier), can visit the following websites to book in at their clinic of preference. These websites are being made available to speed up the vaccination of this important group in our community and will remain active until a centralized Provincial booking system launches.

Any resident of Peel (including Brampton, Mississauga, and Caledon) born in 1941 or earlier, can visit the following websites to book or pre-register at their clinic of preference. Please note that appointments may be limited due to supply.

· Brampton – William Osler Health System vaccine clinic: Book appointments online using the booking portal (launching this evening March 1, 2021, for appointments starting tomorrow) at

· Mississauga – Trillium Health Partners vaccine clinic: pre-registration for appointments for adults 80+ THP Vaccination Registration (

Supply at Region of Peel-run community clinics remains limited and currently being prioritized to high-priority workers. When supply improves, a program to support housebound seniors and online booking for 80+ will be launched at these community clinics, increasing choice and access for the Peel community.

“We continue to ramp up our system here in Peel to deliver more vaccines, every day, to those who need them the most. We’re excited to be able to start vaccinating our community, offering protection to those who are rendered most vulnerable by age. While supply and appointments remain limited, we continue to ask for patience as we begin this journey together. I want to thank all our residents and workers in Peel for your support; if you are eligible, please sign up to get your shot to get protected and support our efforts to keep each other safe and end the pandemic in our community. ” – Dr. Lawrence Loh, Medical Officer of Health, Region of Peel

As Dr. Loh indicates in the quote above, please note that appointment availability and supply are limited at this time but it is expected this will continue to ramp up over the coming weeks.

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MIRANET encourages fiscal responsibility at City Hall

With the uncertain economic situation facing the City of Mississauga, MIRANET has been diligent in ensuring City Hall respects taxpayer dollars.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and city council pay and expenses in 2019.

A special meeting of Council on Wednesday February 24 spent 40 minutes discussing the 2021 budget recommended by Budget Committee.  Most of that time was taken up with objections to councillor Saito’s motion to reduce the car allowance of $17,400 by one-third.

(Click here for the full article in The Mississauga News.)

Councillors Dasko, Starr and Mahoney all vehemently opposed the reduction.  MIRANET was dismayed by the sense of entitlement implicit in their remarks.  The councillors claimed to be busy meeting and helping constituency members (Starr), distributing “slow down” signs (Dasko) and collecting garbage (Dasko).  

Councillor Saito gave a spirited response.  She pointed out that Budget Committee and not Council was was the venue to raise questions and debate budget issues.  None of the three had raised objections when her motion was first introduced.   The issue was voted on separately from the main budget and carried on a split vote of 6-6.   

All other aspects of the budget were approved.  The storm-water charge increases to $110.40 per billing unit, applicable to most single family detached homes.  The storm-water operating budget was approved at $43,545,700.

The net operating budget for 2021of $554.3 million is an increase of approximately $16.9 million from 2021.  The infrastructure and debt retirement levy remains at 2.0 percent and accounts for $10,750,800 of the increase.

Finance staff and the executive management team deserve credit for moderating the financial impact of COVID19 upon the City’s finances in 2020.  The outlook for 2021 remains uncertain.

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Residents concerned about Dixie mall redevelopment

The Toronto Star carried an article about the proposed transformation of the Dixie Mall area. Lakeview Ratepayers Association – a member of MIRANET – expressed concerns through its president, Deborah Goss.

Click here for the article. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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MIRANET adds to voices opposing Burnhamthorpe Outdoor Rink demolition

MIRANET Chair Sue Shanly was quoted in an article on the Burnhamthorpe Outdoor Rink demolition.

You can read the article here.

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MIRANET quoted in The Mississauga News on Burnhamthorpe Outdoor Rink demolition

MIRANET Chair Sue Shanly’s remark during deputations made at Mississauga City Council on Wednesday, Jan. 20 was quoted in The Mississauga News.

You can read the article here.

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MIRANET comments on Burnhamthorpe Outdoor Rink in The Pointer

MIRANET Chair Sue Shanly was quoted in The Pointer in an article on the Burnhamthorpe Outdoor Rink. She said,

“How could the design for a new pool and reconstruction of the Burnhamthorpe Community Centre be approved before sufficient, meaningful consultation took place? Many residents feel that there’s been a lack of transparency and consultation over the past two years. No one that spoke with us had heard about this prior to September 2020.”

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">You can read the article <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="; data-type="URL" data-id="; target="_blank">here</a>.You can read the article here.

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Is Chic Murray outdoor arena slated for demolition in 2021 without public notification or consultation?

Is Chic Murray outdoor arena slated for demolition in 2021 without public notification or consultation??

Chic Murray is known as one of the best outdoor ice rinks in the entire GTA. It has a superior ice pad and a covered roof which allows for outdoor skating in most weather conditions. It was put in at considerable cost in 2004 and has been in constant use ever since. It is highly treasured, extremely rare and very valuable for a number of reasons.

Located centrally in a densely populated area of Mississauga, this extremely popular facility has given residents the opportunity to enjoy a fresh air activity at reasonable cost. The roof structure allows skaters to enjoy the rink even in inclement weather for most of the winter. In addition to providing beneficial exercise and exposure to fresh air and sunlight, which helps to keep residents happy and healthy, it also allows skaters to meet up with friends, family and neighbours for a fun skate or a game of pick-up hockey. In other words, the arena promotes physical as well as mental well-being and healthy communities during winter months. This is especially important for town house and apartment dwellers whose outdoor recreation options are limited in the winter.

What is the reason for this demolition? The Chic Murray arena is one of two outdoor arenas in Mississauga. It is an in-demand outdoor winter facility whose loss would be keenly felt. It is irreplaceable. Covid 19 has had a devastating impact on the City’s budget which the taxpayer will be paying for many years to come. Perhaps the City can figure out a plan to incorporate the Arena into its new proposed development. Demolishing and then re-building the arena elsewhere seems to be a huge waste of the taxpayers’ dollar.

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MIRANET submission to legislative committee regarding Schedule 6, Bill 229

The Mississauga Residents’ Associations Network submitted comments to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs regarding Schedule 6 of Bill 229. The submission is pasted below in its entirety.

Mississauga Residents’ Association Network (MIRANET) is gravely concerned by methods employed by the Provincial government to circumvent public consultation on the proposed changes to the Conservation Authorities Act, outlined in Schedule 6 of Bill 229. By sneaking Schedule 6 into omnibus budget measures Bill 229, the Province is demonstrating a lack of respect for the public, conservation authorities, municipalities, and democracy.

The entirety of Schedule 6 displays a lack of scientific literacy and calls the Provincial government’s judgment into question. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s failure to recognize the limits of its own expertise has resulted in a document that runs counter to the promises of their political platform in the 2018 election. Instead of less red tape, we get more bureaucracy; instead of shorter permit approval times, we get longer; instead of clarity and transparency, we get chaos and confusion; instead of benefitting the many, it benefits the few; instead of strengthening the conservation authorities’ ability to protect and preserve our watersheds for present and future generations, it ties their hands and diminishes their power.

Schedule 6 has no place in Bill 229.

  1. Proposed changes to the Conservation Authorities Act would authorize the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry to issue an order to take over and decide a development permit application in place of a conservation authority. Additionally, a permit applicant can request that the Minister review a conservation authority’s decision about a permit application (approved with conditions or denied), at which point the Minister can make any decision, including issuing a permit. (

In the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Ford has repeatedly stated that he is guided by the advice of Public Health officials as he is not a scientist and they are the experts. The same reasoning should hold true for the management of our natural resources, particularly within the watersheds that sustain us. Do we believe that the judgment of a political appointee, with little to no scientific literacy and no understanding of how watersheds work, should replace that of an expert whose decisions are guided by science and best practices?

The scientists, engineers, and technicians responsible for the management of our watersheds collect and analyze data to use in decision-making and the development of future management plans. This information is also used to assess the efficacy of ongoing programs and correct course as necessary. These experts must demonstrate the logic of their thinking to both the public and their fellow scientists. The success or failure of their decisions can be measured by numbers and statistics, which can be made available for public scrutiny. As such, their decision-making processes are far more robust and transparent than those of the Provincial government.

We expect the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry to make objective and transparent decisions that ensure the long-term health of our watersheds for us and future generations; however, history has shown that politicians are less than objective and transparent in their decision-making, as they bend to the will of their political leaders and their own agendas for re-election. Do we as Ontarians believe this is transparent and effective governance?

The proposed changes may also lead to unintended consequences, resulting in additional costs and more red tape:

  • If the Minister of Natural Resources steps in to review an application (either at the request of the permit applicant or at the Minister’s discretion) another level of bureaucracy is added to the permit application process.
  • The deadline for a ministerial decision is thirty (30) days, in which time the applicant may either receive a decision or no communication at all, an indication that the Minister has declined to review the application. What remains unclear, however, is who will actually be conducting the review. Will additional staff need to be hired to complete the review and advise the Minister? Will these staffers be political appointees or will they be subject matter experts?
  • If the Ministry hires subject matter experts whose decisions are based on science, and therefore apolitical, does this not mean their decisions will be similar, if not identical, to those of the conservation authority? Is this not a duplication of services, loathed by the Premier, who promised to cut costs and red tape? The Ford government voted Bill 108 into law, ostensibly to reduce bureaucracy and permit approval times. These proposed changes will introduce more red tape, increase wait times for permit approval, and increase costs for both the developer and the provincial government.No mention has been made how these additional positions will be funded.
  • If the Ministry hires political appointees to conduct these reviews and their decisions differ dramatically from those of the conservation authority and other subject matter experts, in the absence of any publically available written justification, can we then assume that the science has been ignored? In such cases, is it fair for affected stakeholders (neighbouring landowners, municipalities, and watersheds) to assume the burden of environmental and economic risks resulting from such decisions? How will the Province compensate watershed residents if their decisions result in harm to their health and/or livelihoods? Why should tax-payers foot the bill for poor decision-making?
  • How will development charges be negotiated – as part of the review process or will this still be done at the Municipal level? At what point in the process will this take place? Will the Ministry decide to circumvent all municipal level negotiation and decision-making? If this is the case, will the Ministry then take on the financial liability associated with overseeing the development charge repayment schedule?
  • What will happen to the public consultation process? If developers can get a second hearing at the ministerial level, why does the same not apply to conservation authorities and the public? Why are developers given greater consideration? If not the conservation authority, who speaks for the residents of a watershed? Can a system in which the wealthy and powerful get preferential treatment, and all others are treated as second class citizens, be considered just?
  • What about impacts to project financing? In an effort to adapt to the new challenges posed by climate change, banks have changed their lending practices to assess not just financial risk, but also environmental and social risk. In the absence of a permit approval from the scientists and engineers employed by the conservation authority, it is now the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry who will grant this permit.
  • If the conservation authority has already conducted its assessment and declined the application, how will this be interpreted by a potential lender? Will the assessment of the conservation authority be made available to the bank free of charge or does it remain their intellectual property, since they do not receive funding from the Province? Does the Province have the authority to confiscate the research of the conservation authority and do with it what it wishes?
  • Banks are not charities and have a fiduciary obligation to their shareholders to minimize risk and maximize return. If the bank is aware of the potential environmental and social risks posed by the project, what is the likelihood that they will approve such a loan?
  • In the absence of a risk assessment from either the conservation authority or the Ministry (because it has exercised its new right to step in and shut down the permitting process) who bears the costs of risk assessment?
  • Is it the Ministry? If so, how will they maintain their thirty (30) day timeline for approval? Will they have to hire subject matter experts (if they have not already done so)?
  • Is it the developer? In which case, how will they finance such an expensive undertaking? Will this be an obstacle to individuals and small-scale developers and preclude them from participating in the market? Will this mean that only those development companies with deep pockets and influence will survive and thrive?
  • Is it the bank? Since this is an unlikely scenario, what is the eventual outcome of the Province’s ill-conceived changes to the Conservation Authority Act: more bureaucracy; long wait times; attrition of individuals and small development companies; assumption of financial, environmental, and social risks by municipalities; and a permitting regime where chaos and confusion are the order of the day?

Have we not learned from the COVID-19 pandemic in which the Ford government ignored the advice of medical and other experts? Their mismanagement had direct consequences: further spread of the virus, continued economic uncertainty, an escalating death count, and more families grieving the loss of loved ones. If the current Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry demonstrates the same zeal and competence as his colleagues in the portfolios of Health and Long-Term Care, rejecting the data, evidence and counsel of scientists and ignoring best practice in favour of political decision-making, we as a province will be taking a giant step backward. This is regressive not progressive!

  • Proposed changes would remove the un-proclaimed provision for conservation authorities to issue stop work orders, a new tool in our enforcement toolbox that we had long requested from the province. This tool will provide the ability to stop significant threats to life, property and environmentally sensitive areas before having to resort to costly fines and prosecution. (

Conservation authorities have fought for and won the provision to enforce stop work orders and are uniquely qualified to put such tools to good use. The ability to issue stop work orders allows them to limit potential damage before it is too late. Costly fines and prosecution are all well and good but if irreparable damage has been done to the watershed there is no going back. Conservation authorities make these decisions based on scientific evidence as well as best practices in watershed management. These tools are never used unless absolutely necessary. This provision must remain, removing it is effectively tying the hands of conservation authorities.

  • The Credit Valley Conservation Board acts on behalf of the watershed and residents to ensure good corporate operations, management, and governance. Proposed changes would direct board members to act only on behalf of the municipality they represent, rather than on behalf of the entire watershed and residents. This is contrary to proper board governance and contradicts recent recommendations by Ontario’s Auditor General. (

The direction to conservation authority board members to act only on behalf of the municipality they represent is frankly baffling; most people understand the need for holistic management of our natural resources. The fact that our government doesn’t is shocking: the absence of even the most rudimentary understanding of how our ecosystems function demonstrates their lack of intellectual fitness for this job. They can be forgiven their lack of knowledge, one can’t be expected to know everything; but faced with the challenge of revising the Conservation Authority Act, instead of addressing their knowledge deficits they blithely proceeded to propose legislation (with very limited public consultation) which would take us back almost seventy (70) years. Such willful ignorance and hubris is unforgiveable in a public servant, let alone an entire Ministry.

Watershed management requires decision making beyond the confines of just one municipality; nature does not respect municipal boundaries. Poor decision making in one municipality has the potential to create irreversible damage elsewhere within the watershed. Potential harms include: flooding, groundwater contamination, excessive groundwater pumping leading to lower water tables and land subsidence, slope destabilization, increased surface water run-off, flow path alteration for both ground and surface waters, silting up of rivers and streams, drier soils more prone to erosion, and loss of wetlands.

Good resource management practices require a holistic point of view: water and air are shared resources, not just between residents of a municipality but between everyone. The wild fires in California, Oregon, and Washington State are a case in point: they affected air quality across Canada, not just in neighbouring British Columbia, which at one point had the worst air quality in the world. Particulates from fires in California had direct impacts on Canadians: both the healthy, who were advised to remain indoors to reduce their exposure, and the ill, particularly those with asthma and lung diseases, who may have found themselves struggling to breathe under those conditions for weeks at a time.

Similar to forest fires, the impacts of wetlands go far beyond their watersheds. They are invaluable in the fight against climate change: wetlands are a sink for atmospheric carbon. But this is not all they do. Wetlands perform the vital services of water purification, groundwater recharge and stream-flow maintenance, and shoreline stabilization. They also provide food and habitat for both terrestrial and aquatic flora and fauna. In some cases, they are the last refuge for rare and endangered species. By preserving, instead of developing wetlands in Durham Region, we can ensure that they will continue to perform these vital services, not just for the people of Pickering, but for the people of Southern Ontario and beyond.

Some of the proposed changes to the composition of the conservation authority board as well as its functioning are particularly troubling:

  • The term of the Chair or Vice Chair is limited to one year and to no more than two consecutive terms. While term limits can have a positive effect on governance, particularly at Provincial and Federal levels, it may not have the same effect in a conservation authority. Any incoming Chair or Vice Chair will most likely not be a subject matter expert and thus have a steep learning curve during the first six months or year of their term. Upon achieving a sufficient level of knowledge, they should be allowed to put this newly acquired knowledge and experience to good use. Rotating Chairs out on an annual basis is disruptive and highly inefficient. Each incoming Chair would have a period of six months or less during which to make well-informed decisions on behalf of watershed residents. A cynic might think this change to the Conservation Authority Act was deliberately designed to hobble the Chair in the execution of their duties.
  • The Minister has the discretion to appoint a representative of the agricultural sector to be a member of the conservation authority board. There are no further details as to what qualifications this representative must have or who they represent: big agriculture, organic farmers, biodynamic farmers, or family farms. There are also no stipulations as to the type of farming they need be involved in: arable farming, livestock farming, or mixed farming. Perhaps none of these distinctions matter as long as they are friends of political leaders.
  • The Minister will now be allowed to dictate the standards and requirements for municipal and other programs and services. By what right does the Minister dictate how and what services and programs are delivered when they provide NO funding to support them?
  • The proposed changes will also limit a conservation authority’s powers to study and investigate a watershed in order to provide programs and services that will directly support the conservation, restoration, development, and management of its natural resources. Instead, their new mandate will be to engage in research and study to support the development of programs and services which have been dictated by the Minister. In other words: in a time of climate crisis, the Provincial government would like LESS and not more scientific data and seeks to direct the research activities of an organization for which it is not funding.

To quote the Premier: “Stick with the job you were hired for…..don’t start pretending” you’re a scientist or a professional engineer “because I can tell you, you aren’t.”

  • Consequential changes to the Planning Act would bar conservation authorities from appealing a municipal planning decision to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), unless requested through an agreement with the municipality or the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. This tool is a necessary but seldom used tool in our toolbox. This change would also remove our right to appeal planning decisions as a landowner. This is of significant concern to conservation authorities as well as Credit Valley Conservation which owns and manages over 7,000 acres of land for habitat protection, community recreation and flood hazard management. (

The new Planning Act would strip conservation authorities of the right to appeal. This means that individuals and developers motivated by profit for themselves and their organizations, which is perfectly legal and acceptable in a free market economy, have greater rights than organizations representing current and future generations of people living within these watersheds. While both food and shelter are basic needs, without water shelter becomes pointless. This legislation could imperil our sources of food and water in order to benefit those who seek to profit from building shelter. We are trading the long-term health and sustainability of our watersheds (which benefits the many) in exchange for short-term profits for developers (the few). A poor bargain by any estimation.

Let’s not have another disastrous short-term decision, such as the one that the Harris government made in 1999 to sell the 407 ETR for $3.1 billion to reduce the deficit ahead of an election. Today the 407 is worth an estimated $30 billion. Imagine the critical transportation infrastructure that could be better maintained and upgraded with the annual revenue generated from the 407 were still in the hands of the government; the new infrastructure that could have been funded, such as the expansion of Metrolinx and Go Transit. Short-term, poor decision making at its finest.

Over the past two years, Ontarians have been subject to a pattern of governance as follows: the appointment and hiring of individuals with few qualifications other than “being a friend of the Premier”, limited understanding of an issue compounded by arrogance and overreach, short-sighted and poorly formulated policies that benefit the few and not the many, dismissal and derision of its critics, shock at public outrage and pushback, eventual contrition and a walking-back of policy changes. Is it not time to break this cycle?

The Premier routinely dismisses so-called “elites” as being out of touch with regular people and therefore unqualified to make policy decisions. But what does he mean by “elites?” Are they not regular people, who through hard work, skill and knowledge obtained through years of experience, and a passion for life-long learning, reached the top of their field? Aren’t these the very people we want working for us? What is the virtue in hiring someone unequal to the task?

Given this government’s poor performance in its autism, long-term care, climate change, and COVID-19 portfolios, how can we accept these proposed changes without further public scrutiny? A government which misleads the people it serves, and routinely circumvents public consultation through dubious means, is neither transparent nor democratic. Such a government requires greater oversight from the people it is meant to serve. MIRANET agrees with The Canadian Environmental Law Association, which has observed “Bill 229 is the most recent in a disturbing trend of using omnibus budget measures bills to make substantial changes to environmental laws, thereby sidestepping the public’s right to comment under the Environmental Bill of Rights.”

Conservation authorities have been the guardians of our watersheds for over seventy (70) years. With little public funding, they have conducted research and provided programs and services to watershed residents. They have valiantly fought to protect the rights of present and future generations to clean air, clean water, and thriving watershed habitats. They are one of Ontario’s great success stories.

We must not allow our Provincial government to curtail the powers of our conservation authorities; they speak for us and the home we live in. It has become patently obvious that our Provincial government does not.


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Mississauga seeking feedback on Official Plan Review

This fall, the City of Mississauga held four Virtual Community Meetings to help refresh the vision and confirm priorities for the Mississauga Official Plan Review.

You may see the presentation and/or watch a recording of the proceedings.

Please share feedback through the City’s Survey and Quick Polls by November 30, 2020.

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MIRANET Opposes Proposed Changes to the Conservation Authorities Act

The Mississauga Residents’ Association Network (MIRANET) is concerned that as our planet is teetering on the edge of an irreversible environmental crisis, political actions are putting roadblocks in the way of long-established initiatives to protect watersheds and environmentally sensitive lands. This needs to stop!  Schedule 6 has no democratic place in the proposed omnibus Budget Bill 229, tabled by the government of Ontario. The very act of burying it in a 219-page Budget Bill is suspect and appears to obfuscate transparency at a time when all eyes are understandably on Covid-19 remediation. It should be removed to allow for proper consultation with conservation authorities (CAs) and stakeholders.

This blatant appropriation of power does not improve upon the existing Act and will not achieve its stated goal of “amending the Conservation Authorities Act to improve transparency and consistency in conservation authority operations, strengthen municipal and provincial oversight and streamline conservation authority roles in permitting and land use planning.” In fact, the public would be better served by maintaining the status quo.

Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities should not be pulled into political deal making. Since 1992, their legislative power, outlined in the Conservation Authorities Act, transcended municipal and political boundaries to serve and protect critical watersheds and environmentally sensitive lands for the health and benefit of all citizens. 95% of the province’s population lives within these conservation areas. Their mandate needs to be enhanced, not curtailed. Who else will protect our life-sustaining watersheds for future generations? These proposed changes to land-use planning should not become a windfall for developers.

The government is trying to bypass scientists and technical experts for their own short-term political gain. Remove Schedule 6 in its entirety from Bill 229!

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MIRANET’s Letter to The Mississauga News

The Mississauga News has published MIRANET’s Letter to the Editor about the City of Mississauga’s attempt to amend the Noise Control Bylaw.

Mississauga needs a more comprehensive noise control bylaw

Monday, November 16, 2020

Dear Editor:

MIRANET has been working diligently to inform residents about its concerns regarding the city’s proposed changes to the existing Noise Control Bylaw. After engaging with the public in January and October 2020, a diverse group of participants in the consultation process (individuals, residents’ associations, MIRANET, business groups, the construction industry, past city councillors, and journalists) were unanimous in their feedback to the city: they wanted less noise. In addition to asking for the inclusion of decibel limits, they asked for the bylaw to reflect the impact of noise on human health. The proposed changes reflect none of this feedback and seemingly led to increasing noise levels instead.

It was unclear what the city hoped to achieve with their changes. The October consultations had technical issues; public input was seemingly ignored; the changes did not embrace the use of modern technology to replace auditory signalling and amplified sound, which would allow organizations to reach wider audiences with minimal noise impact; the use of free decibel level measurement apps was not explored for use in enforcement; there were no proposals for amendments to federal or provincial laws to prevent the sale and distribution of modified mufflers or car audio with settings that exceed the noise threshold for hearing loss; and worst of all, there was no funding to hire additional staff to enforce these bylaws. The entire process was an exercise in mediocrity.

On Nov. 9, MIRANET received confirmation that the city would be postponing its review of the current Noise Control Bylaw, citing COVID-19 and an expanding scope of work needed for the bylaw review. MIRANET applauds both this decision and city staff for recognizing that more work needs to be done. We hope they use this additional time for meaningful engagement with all stakeholders and the development of a thoughtful, comprehensive bylaw. A Noise Control Bylaw that balances competing stakeholder needs, identifies mitigation measures to minimize noise impacts, embraces modern technology, minimizes financial impacts to taxpayers, and supports public health objectives. As residents of a world-class city, we deserve nothing less.

Sue Shanly


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John Stewart of The Mississauga News highlights the Noise Control By-law consultation

In an opinion piece by the longtime Mississauga News columnist John Stewart talks about the noise heard in the city, and gives a shout-out (no pun intended) to the City’s ongoing Noise Control by-law amendments process.

John ends his column saying, “The foregoing is a self-indulgent effort to draw attention to the current review of Mississauga’s noise control bylaw.”

Read the article here.

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